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Recognised ‘Man in Crypto’ Richard Howlett explains what he thinks is coming next and the effect crypto will have on the professions

Over the last decade Bitcoin has become nothing short of a worldwide phenomenon spawning countless imitators that have catapulted cryptocurrency at the vanguard of technology, innovation and commerce whilst, at the same time, grabbing the public’s attention. 

That’s not to say cryptocurrencies haven’t suffered a bumpy ride along the way.  Huge fluctuations in their market value, various security and regulatory issues and some highly publicised and extremely high value frauds have beset their rise.

This is what has helped Selachii establish our position as one of the leading legal specialists within the cryptocurrency environment. 

Since 2013 our partner Richard Howlett has built up a market-leading and internationally recognised practice in Bitcoin and Digital Currency, Blockchain and Smart Contracts.  Richard’s practice has just been recognised by industry bible Coinburp who recently interviewed Richard as one of their ‘Men in Crypto’.

However, despite the regulatory and security issues we strongly believe interest in and demand for Bitcoin and the other crypto coins being offered to investors will only grow during the rest of 2019 and into 2020.  So, with that in mind we would like to share some of the factors we think investors should be aware of:

Less price volatility

Since it was accepted by a number of financial instructions in 2018, the price of Bitcoin has stabilized and we’d expect that trend to continue, especially as greater efforts are being employed to protect investors from fraudulent trading.

Crypto will become more mainstream

As the price volatility stabilizes and understanding of crypto continues to increase, we think the trust and therefore adoption of crypto will also increase.  This view is backed by the fact institutions like Goldman Sachs have expressed a desire to trade in Bitcoin futures (despite reported opposition from the FCA) trading and use more of its own money to help its clients trade Bitcoin. 

Greater market understanding 

While awareness of crypto has mushroomed across the world over the last 3 years, the understanding of how to use digital currencies probably hasn’t kept up.  We’d therefore expect a lot more information being pushed out online to educate would be investors over the next 18 months.

The rise of the STO 

Although there have been issues with fraudulent ICOs, security – most notably the introduction of the Security Token Offering (STO) - has increased since the spate of ICO scams in 2017.  And with financial regulators endorsing Security Token Offerings, many believe it’s only a matter of time before they completely replace ICOs.

The rise of Ripple 

As Ripple (or XRP) can also be used as a payment system by financial institutions and because it doesn’t need third party verification which makes peer-to-peer transactions easier, it is highly likely Ripple and its products will grow in popularity (and value) during 2020. 

The rise of stable coins 

Stablecoins aren’t crypto coins per se, they are linked to a fiat currency.  However, while issues with the tokenizing of digital coins continue, as they are more secure stable coins could grow in popularity.  will work as a buffer which can potentially lead to something greater.

And while those trends are more from an industry perspective, there are some additional trends that those professional advisers – like us – who are involved in the cryptocurrency markets will need to pay close attention to if they are going to provide the level and quality of advice their clients demand.  In our opinion these include:   

IT capability

As the use of cryptocurrencies becomes more common, firms will need to have the infrastructure required to manage the transactions their clients are making using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency.  Over the last 18 months we have seen several properties being bought with Bitcoin so it can’t be too long until businesses and other assets are being purchase using crypto.

Similarly, firms will eventually need to be able to accept payment for their own service in crypto, particularly if they are operating in the most high-tech sectors. 


In the near future it’s inevitable that clients will start to demand tools employing AI and machine learning to help them manage their business, trades and investments on a daily basis.  While this will be adopted over a very different timescale by different clients, lawyers and accountants are going to have to keep an active watching brief on developments so they don’t get left behind (especially if they’re promoting themselves as tech specialists).

A regulatory framework 

Up to this point there has been very little international regulation around the crypto market, but this is starting to change.  In the US the SEC has been given greater powers to clamp down on illegal trading and fraud and in the UK the FCA has recently issued its own guidance setting out exactly which crypto tokens fall under its jurisdiction.

We believe as time goes on, a much more robust regulatory framework will have to be introduced, something Selachii partner Richard Howlett was quick to acknowledge in his recent interview with Coinburp:

“Crypto will continue to integrate into everyday transactions and society. Governments worldwide will realise they cannot stop ban crypto but will instead regulate it and ensure they can identify users in order to be able to tax where applicable. Government regulation will provide trust to consumers to then adopt the technology and embrace cryptocurrency.”


The lawyers and accountants of the future will have to be trained on the workings of crypto and understand the implications crypto will have for their clients.

Both professions will also need to commit to continued CPD training post-qualification as the technology its application and the effect it’ll have on clients will only continue to develop at an ever-faster pace as their careers develop.

If you would like to read more about Richard’s thoughts on crypto and about the specific major case experience Selachii  has built up over the last 6 years, you can read the full interview here

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